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Lecture1 : Home

The definition of HTML is HyperText Markup Language. HyperText is the method by which you move around on the web — by clicking on special text called hyperlinks which bring you to the next page. The fact that it is hyper just means it is not linear — i.e. you can go to any place on the Internet whenever you want by clicking on links — there is no set order to do things in. Markup is what HTML tags do to the text inside them. They mark it as a certain type of text (italicised text, for example). HTML is a Language, as it has code-words and syntax like any other language.
HTML consists of a series of short codes typed into a text-file by the site author — these are the tags. The text is then saved as a html file, and viewed through a browser, like Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator. This browser reads the file and translates the text into a visible form, hopefully rendering the page as the author had intended. Writing your own HTML entails using tags correctly to create your vision. You can use anything from a rudimentary text-editor to a powerful graphical editor to create HTML pages.

This is a very common question amongst beginners. It's a valid question, especially as there are conflicting views on how necessary it is. Our position is this: If you want to create fast web pages and have no ambition to make them good quality or easy to access, then you can probably get by without understanding HTML.However you must understand that you are taking a chance — your web pages may or may not work (even if they appear to have worked). If you have a friend or colleague who can check your HTML for you, then that will probably suffice. If you are even slightly serious about making web pages that people can access and use, a basic understanding of HTML is an absolute must. This doesn't mean you need to learn the whole language thoroughly — just that you need to understand the structure of the language and have an idea of how it all fits together.

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